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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

4 Demands to Make to Your Real Estate Agent

To distinguish between average real estate agents and great ones, you should make sure they can accommodate these four demands.

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Are you thinking about buying a home but dreading the challenges that come with the process? If you’re concerned about the unanswered questions surrounding what kind of house you can afford, how to schedule showings, and making sure that the paperwork is done right, I have a solution for you.

Hiring a real estate professional can take away most of the challenges involved in the home buying process. Like a great doctor or great accountant, a great real estate agent is always worth more than the commission that they charge.

Here is the best part: when buying a home, you don’t even pay the agent; you only pay for the loan officer who is getting your loan. I think that this is the reason that we hear more horror stories about buying a home than we do triumphant ones.

A great real estate agent is always worth more than the commission they charge.

If you want to lock down one of the best agents in your market, you must be able to distinguish an average agent from a great agent. According to many studies, an average agent sells just one to two homes per year. Great agents like us sell more than 50 homes every year. The agent you work with matters every single time. Here are the four demands you should make of your real estate agent when deciding which one to hire:
  1. Tell the truth about the price. When making an offer on the home you want to buy, make sure that your agent walks you through the entire plan for getting your offer accepted. Too many agents just take the offer that you suggest and then try to work both you and the seller in negotiating phases later. In a competitive market, you need an agent who is going to help you make the best initial offer so that you stand out from the crowd. In today’s market, every house must be sold twice: once to you and once to your bank. If your agent doesn’t discuss this with you at the time of the original offer, this should raise a red flag.
  2. Understand the time table that you and your family are dealing with. You’ll be moving yourself and your family into a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or a new job relocation, balancing the move and your life can be very emotionally draining. Demand that your agent appreciates the timetables you’re setting. Your agent cannot pick the exact time for your move, but they should exert any influence they can to make sure it all works out for you and your family.
  3. Remove as many challenges as possible for you. It’s imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise in the transaction, and, more importantly, set the right expectations for you so that you’re prepared for them in advance. An agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market. Remember, if you have a weak agent who’s negotiating with you on parts of the purchase offer, don’t expect them to turn into a superhero when they’re negotiating with the seller.
  4. Find the right house for you. There is a reason that you’re putting yourself and your family through this arduous moving process. You’re moving on with your life for the better in most cases. The reason for moving is important, or you wouldn’t be dealing with all the headaches and challenges that come with buying and moving. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Make sure that they keep you and your family’s real estate goals at the top of their list of priorities. If they discover that something needs to be done in order to obtain your real estate goals, insist they have the courage to inform you about it.
Good agents know how to deliver good news; great agents know how to deliver tough news but get you fantastic results. In today’s market, you need a great agent! If you have any other questions about buying or selling real estate in the Orange or LA County area, give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to help you!

Friday, October 28, 2016

11 Reasons the Holidays Are a Great Time to Sell

Contrary to popular belief, the holiday season is a great time to sell your home. There are a full 11 reasons as to why this is.

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Looking to sell a home? Check out our free home value report

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited for Halloween. It puts me in the holiday spirit!

When it comes to real estate, though, the holiday spirit takes on a different meaning. A lot of people thinking about selling their home either to put the pedal to the metal to move forward or pump the brakes so they can enjoy the season. This is because the natural thought is that homes don’t sell during the holidays.

Here’s the thing, though: that couldn’t be further from the truth. Right now is a fantastic time to sell your home. How fantastic? My team and I have come together and provided a list of 11 reasons why you should take advantage of the holiday market:
  1. People who look for a home during the holidays are more serious buyers.
  2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from. Less competition means more money for you.
  3. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there will be less demand for your particular home if you list then.
  4. Houses show better when they’re decorated for the holidays.
  5. Buyers are more emotional during the holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price.
  6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays than they do during a regular work week.
  7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons. 
  8. January is traditionally a month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees can’t wait until spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that group.
  9. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the holidays.
  10. You can sell now for more money and we’ll provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until the following year if necessary.
  11. Selling now gives you an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the springtime when there will be more houses on the market for less money. This will allow you to sell high and buy low.

Right now is a fantastic time to sell your home.

If you don’t absolutely need to, feel free to stay put, take your home off the market, and enjoy the holidays. I know I will. However, there are some great benefits to selling now that you won’t get during the rest of the year.

If you have questions about your home or putting it up for sale during the holidays months, let’s talk. Give me a call or send me an email so we can figure out how we can get the highest price for your home. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Your Latest Real Estate Market Update

The wonderful world of real estate tends to run in cycles. Our market is shifting right now, so there are a few market trends that you need to be aware of.

As we all know, the wonderful world of real estate runs in cycles. There are times when the market is up, times when the market is down, and in-between times when the market seems flat. For those of us who have been through multiple upswings and downturns over the years, the worst downturn we’ve seen lasted from 2006 to mid-2011.

If you look at most cycles in real estate, we typically have four or five years of a really good market and then 12 to 36 months of an adjustment or downswing before starting that upward cycle again.

Since the recovery from the Great Recession began in mid-2011, it would only be natural for us to hit the next real estate cycle soon because it has been about five years since our last major downturn.

So, what are the signs of a market adjustment? Typically we will see increased inventory, more days on market, and frequent price reductions. This is exactly what we have seen over the last 10 months, and the market continues to adjust today.

What is causing the adjustment? As mentioned, we have had the five-year recovery period already, and it is time for the market to adjust. We are also experiencing enormous uncertainty in the stock market in the wake of Brexit; this causes people to slow down when it comes to purchasing a home, as some may not have enough money for a down payment. The uncertainty also slows down the market in the upper price points.

At the same time, we are in an election year. Election years cause economic concern and slow down the real estate market. Unfortunately, there have also been both national and international acts of terrorism, which further breed fear, uncertainty, and caution in our market.

Overall, the real estate market is doing great.

That said, it’s not all doom and gloom. The market isn’t going down anytime soon. My team and I cover 25 different cities in three major counties, and we are on track to help more than 60 families buy or sell a home anywhere from $400,000 to $2.5 million. In short, I have a direct pulse on what’s taking place in our market.

The good news is that homes are still selling and buyers are still taking advantage of the historically low interest rates, which means demand remains strong.

We are starting to see the market slow down in the higher price points of any market. In some cases, the top end of each market is starting to show signs of a buyer’s market. However, in the bottom three-quarters of the market, we are still experiencing a seller’s market. It’s not that insane seller’s market where there were 10 or 15 offers per property, though. Instead, the remaining three-quarters of the market is fairly healthy.

Overall, the real estate market is doing great. I would just say that you need to expect a little more volatility throughout the year. If you want more details about the market in your city or if you have any other questions, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!